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Business trends

Second homes in Japan's summer resort become hub for telework

Popular areas of Karuizawa and Nasu see influx of long-term stayers

Holiday homes in the popular Nasu region, like this one managed by Towa Nasu Resort, have seen a rush of owners escaping the Greater Tokyo area, which is now in a state of emergency.

UTSUNOMIYA/SHIZUOKA, Japan -- Every year around May, waterworks companies in the Japanese resort town of Karuizawa start receiving calls from homeowners to come reopen their taps. They are turned off for the winter, because without doing so, the biting cold temperature freezes the water inside, resulting in burst pipes.

This year, plumbers are busy answering calls a month earlier than usual, as a large number of second-home owners move their bases from the Greater Tokyo area to Karuizawa to avoid the novel coronavirus, which has brought the capital to a stand still.

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